Lillie Schildbach, left, and Chelsea Haines watch as soda shoots out of a Coke bottle during a STEM night she hosted at Schurz Elementary School.

STEM continues to be at the forefront of learning in the Watertown Unified School District, but this time it was students doing the teaching.

Riverside Academy eighth-grader Lillie Schildbach hosted a STEM night for students at Schurz Elementary School on Thursday after school.

She had the idea after volunteering at a lock-in that took place at Douglas Elementary School.

"I thought it would be fun to do something similar but educational," she said.

Schildbach came up with the concept and the plan for the afternoon to teach students some STEM concepts, mostly focusing on chemistry. 

"There are a lot of cool experiments that go along with chemistry," she said.

Schildbach put a lot of work into the event and she said she received an A for the assignment.

"I had to learn everything I was going to teach them and figure out how they would respond to it."

Seventeen students signed up for the event.

Her goal was simple, "To have a lot of fun and teach as much as I can."

She had the help of several friends and Riverside Academy teacher Alexandra Agar-Pratt.

Some of the activities students participated in included the Coke and Mentos experiment, a BreakoutEDU box, like an escape room but unlocking a box instead of breaking out of a room, and making slime.

Agar-Pratt said Schildbach, "had to study the chemistry concepts appropriate for her grade level and then create lesson plans and activities that could teach third- through fifth-graders the chemistry at an appropriate level."

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